Webeden Blog Logos 6 essential steps to design the perfect logo

6 essential steps to design the perfect logo

5 Replies

Logos

Getting the right logo is an important part of designing a website. And logos aren’t just limited to the web, but can of course be used in printed material too. This week’s guest blog comes from Vicki Willingham who runs VictoriaAnnDesign.com. It’s all about the steps she takes when designing a logo.

6 essential steps to design the perfect logo

I’ve been designing logos for a few years now. It started off as a hobby, and now I’m lucky enough to have turned it into work. Whenever someone asks me to design a new logo for them I always stick to the following steps.

1. The Brief
This bit is about asking the client the right questions. I’ll make sure I have all the details I need from the client including: style; preferred colours; orientation; and the message they want their logo convey.

2. Write it all Down
I’m someone who likes to think on paper, so I write down everything that comes to mind about the company and scribble thoughts and ideas around that.  For example, if I were designing a logo for a financial company I might write jot down the words money, wealth, success, banking, saving…then continue with further words relating to each.

3. Start Drawing
Once I have my ideas and thoughts down in writing I begin to scribble them out as images.    I keep drawing until I find an idea I’m happy with and can develop into a logo.  I’ll usually also jot down colour ideas.

4. Get it on the Mac
Now I have my logo draft/s I’ll hop onto the laptop and get the idea onto the screen.  Depending on what I’m doing, I might also be tracing the draft using a pen tablet.  I’ll usually come up with a multitude of styles and variations and I’ll disregard probably 80% of those and work further on the 20% I choose to keep.

It takes time
This part of the process can take any time from a few hours to a week.  Usually, if I have done the previous part of sketching out ideas properly, this shouldn’t take all that long.

It takes colour

I’ll usually design in black first to check the shapes come together well, before I apply colour.  As well as designs looking fab in colour, it’s also important that logos work in black – it can look a mess on a photocopied corporate header otherwise!  There are a few exceptions to this, I’m sometimes asked to make a logo that will only be used online for web based companies and that won’t be used on print at all.  In that case, things are clearly a bit different and I feel happy to throw colour in from the start.

5. Get feedback from the client
The client is sent a copy of the logo to view.  At this point I encourage revisions to ensure we’re all happy when the project is completed.  There’s no telling how long this can take, but if we both understand the requirements at the beginning then it really does help.

6. Send the final version
So, when the logo is done, the files are ready and I’ll send them over to the client.  Typically, I will provide an ai file; pdf; small jpg; large jpg; transparent png; opaque png; gif and a tiff.

So that’s about it.
The process looks really clear and straight forward, but life isn’t always like that. There are always some unforseen bits and pieces that get thrown into the works. But that’s the basic outline.

If you’re designing a logo for your own website or someone else, stick to these steps and your life should be a bit easier.

I’d be interested to hear from others and how they do things – please leave a comment below.

About Vicki Willingham
Vicki is a Macbook Pro aficionado who is expert in logo design and corporate identify. For more information, visit her website.

  • http://dogaboom.com jeddy

    Hey

    I will like to know how to change a logo to all formats.I mean to make a picture in all picture formats from jpg to png(both) to an ai and others like gif and tiff formats.Thanks.

  • admin

    Hi Jeddy,

    Here is my ‘beginners’ answer!

    You can save to .bmp, .dib, .jpg, .jpeg, .tiff, .gif using MS Paint.

    As for .ai etc. – hopefully Vicki can help!

    Ken

  • http://www.victoriaanndesign.com VictoriaAnn Design

    Hi Jeddy,

    I design in Adobe Illustrator which allows saving as various formats. It’s difficult to give precise instructions without knowing which software you are using. Using Illustrator, the default setting is .ai (the actual Illustrator file), the others are all created from that using the many save options.

    Does that help?

    Vicki

  • http://www.alisoncross4webs.co.uk Alison Cross

    As Vicki says, not all packages provide opportunities to save to all the formats available, but most packages should be able to provide at least a few of the formats you will need for your purpose?

    Are you are trying to make an icon file (which webeden software accepts as the little favicon for your website) then you can find free software that will take your image and turn it into an favicon file.

    I use easypicture2icon which is free to download from picture2icon.com and works on a pc. Hope this helps :-)

    Other freebie software is available and anyone downloading does so at their own risk. This is not a recommendation by webeden, just me ;-)

    Ali

  • admin

    Thanks to Vicki and Alison for that advice – very useful.

    Ken